Develop My Own Color Film - What Stuff Do I Need

Blog by Michael Raso

With the addition to Color Chemistry to our FPP On-Line Store, many of you have stated and asked – “I’m new to home development. Are the color development kits just chemicals or do I need other items? Are there instructions in the kit?"

All of the color kits come with mixing instructions. Our Color Kits include all the chemistry you will need in one box. For Color you will need the following after you have shot your roll of film and ready to develop:

  • A Workspace with running, hot water (away from children and pets)
  • Can opener (to remove the film from the 35mm canister) - does not apply to 120 or 620
  • Film tank and reels - These are the reels that hold your film in the light tight tank. The only step that takes place in the dark is loading your film from the canister to your reel and tank. Out tank holds two 35mm rolls or one 120 (or 620) roll of film. You can load your film in a pitch black room or use a film changing bag.
  • You will also need a Container to hold your chemistry, a Funnel, Thermometer, Measuring Beaker, Squeegee and of course, your chemistry. All of these items are available in the Darkroom Supply area of the FPP On-Line Store.
  • Processing your own Color is super easy! If you already own a negative scanner then you're now your own mini-lab! See our video below on developing color using our C-41 Color Negative Kit


rickscheibner's picture

Thanks guys...just ordered a 2 liter c-41 kit and a 1-liter e-6 kit. 

peterk1a's picture
Clear, concise, and perfect. Incidentally, in other fields "kit" usually means "everything you need." I guess that's not a rule in photography? :)
peterk1a's picture
Also, what determines how far you can "stretch" your chemicals for the maximum number of roll developments?
rwl7532's picture

I divided the mixed chemistry into 3 sets and have 2 sets frozen. Rotary is how I develop so that works.

So far I've done 6 rolls of 135 (24 exposure rolls) 1 roll of 120 and 2 sheets of 4x5 using the first third. Sending out to the photo shop would cost at least $45 - already money ahead with just one third of the kit.

I use a crock pot filled with water to bring the chemicals up to temp.

Regarding your question, it will depend on how well your eye can detect color shift as you reuse the chemicals. Also how much post processing it takes to nudge your images. I feel I've used up the first third but I intend to process more to find where the quality drops to no longer acceptable.

One other tip I can offer: do not have your water bath level the same as the bottles you are warming. The bottles will float and fall over if a partially filled bottle is returned to the bath. A quick shake is all that is needed to stir up a bottle so everything is the same temp.

**edit: added "mixed" to first sentence for clarity. **

Ted Wendel's picture
I ordered the kit and mixed it up. Developed my first roll without expecting much but was astounded by the results. Once you get the chemistry prepared, the process is easy and the results are great. Living in the Southwest it was easy to prepare the chemistry because our water is always hot and the ambient temp last week was well above 110 degrees. Film Forever
Ted Wendel's picture
Check the Analog Images on my site ( to see the two new color images I developed using the kit I opurchased from you last week. I am really happy with my first attempt at C41 processing.
rwl7532's picture

I found your C41 DIY images. Very nice.

At least on URL link worked.

old-lab-rat's picture
One more way to bring up chemicals to temp. Yard sale ! You can google for the parts to make a pro like setup to temp your chemicals. $100.00 for the pro setup are $5.00 at a yard sale ?
Jake's picture
Being completely ignorant of professional film processing, can you give a clue as to what th at would look like? I wouldn't even begin to know what to google for.
Jake's picture
I shot a roll of ISO 400 at ISO 200 (yes, an ancient camera without DX capability). Can we push (or pull?) process with this neato kit? I assume it would be a change in development time. Any hints?
Matheus Mello's picture
Can you ship it overseas?

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